Monday, October 29, 2007

Would The Last Free Man Leaving America Turn Out The Lights?

Why the Well-to-Do Are Escaping America {2nd Posting~It All Bears Repeating}
In spite of the many disturbing trends I often write about in America, I still maintain a small glimmer of hope that our nation will endure and prosper.
But that won't happen if we don’t clearly recognize our problems and address them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem likely with the current crop of American presidential wannabes.
While many Americans are still willing to stay and fight the good fight, many Americans have had enough. And they’re leaving.
Millions of Americans Say “I’ve Had Enough!”
A 1999 U.S. State Department survey suggested 4.1 million Americans lived overseas. Every year, about 250,000 U.S. citizens and resident aliens leave America to make a new home in some other nation.
In 2005, the U.S. Bureau of the Census upped this estimate. They guessed that over 350,000 U.S. citizens and resident aliens would leave the United States permanently.
Many of these emigrants are wealthy people who want to escape what they see as the excessive taxes and political tyranny of the United States government.
John Gaver of Action notes: "The problem is that increasingly, the wealthy perceive that they are under attack by their own government and they are taking the only rational option left open to them. They're taking their wealth and leaving."
Figures Don't Lie
The well-known pollster, Zogby International, recently conducted in-depth surveys on this subject. They asked adult Americans if they had ever considered moving outside the United States.
With more than 115,000 respondents, the remarkable survey excluded anyone relocating offshore for less than two years. They also excluded anyone who relocated because of government requirements, the military or their jobs.
The Zogby results are shocking – especially compared to the entire U.S. population (now about 303,116,000). The numbers below are for households, not individuals.
1.6 million U.S. households already decided to move offshore and are headed in that direction.
Another 1.8 million households are seriously considering moving and are likely to do it. Many have taken preliminary steps.
7.7 million households are "somewhat seriously" considering moving and "may" do it.
Nearly 3 million households are seriously considering buying a vacation home or other property outside the United States. Another 10 million are "somewhat" seriously considering it.
This means that almost 10% of U.S. households are considering leaving the country. Another 10% are considering living outside the country part-time. Most analysts are ignoring this silent massive emigration.
These would-be emigrant households plan to spend an average of US$260,000 on buying or building a house. They’re also planning to spend at least US$36,000 annually on living expenses outside the United States.
In total, they represent hundreds of billions of dollars leaving the U.S. economy each year.
One eye-opening fact: These emigrants include younger Americans. In fact, the single largest group that already made the decision to relocate offshore is households where the adults are 25 to 34 years old.
The Soaked Rich
The severe tax burden is just one of reasons why wealthy Americans want to live offshore.
Yet, U.S. politicians and their allies in the news media continue the constant false drumbeat of class warfare that "rich" Americans do not pay their fair share of taxes.
Only last week, would-be president Hillary Clinton proposed increasing estate and other taxes on wealthy Americans. She wants to transfer money to individuals who earn less by setting up government sponsored retirement accounts.
The late U.S. Senator Huey P. Long of Louisiana used to call this type of calculated “robbing the rich to pay the poor” his plan to "redistribute the wealth."
You often hear the myth that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes. In reality, the IRS’s latest figures reveal that the top-earning 1% of U.S. taxpayers earned 21.20% of the income, but they still managed to pay 39.38% of the taxes collected. In other words, the rich paid almost double their share, based upon the income they earned.
In addition to paying double their share of taxes, there are other good reasons for this offshore exodus of the wealthy.
Well-to-do Americans face frivolous lawsuits by the greedy, in ever growing numbers. They, like all Americans, have lost any semblance of privacy in their personal and business transactions.
Their business dealings are saddled with onerous PATRIOT Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements that consume time and money. And they have little defense against having their property confiscated under civil forfeiture by the government money police.

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